IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Benjamin D. Helming


Benjamin David Helming, one of the progressive and active farmers and stock-raisers of Allamakee county, owns and operates a fine property of one hundred and sixty acres lying in section 34, Union Prairie township. This farm has been in possession of members of his family for many years and upon it his birth occurred on the 29th of January, 1874, his parents being Simon and Augusta (Simmonsmeier) Helming. The father was born in Westphalia, Germany, and came to America in the 50’s, settling in Iowa. On the 14th of October, 1852, he purchased of Dennis Haley the northwest quarter – one hundred and sixty acres – of section 34, in township 98, north of range 6, Union Prairie township, for a consideration of two hundred and fifty dollars. This is now the homestead belonging to the subject of this review. For this land Thomas Haley received on the 1st of October, 1852, a United States patent signed by Millard Fillmore, president of the United States, and the quarter section has never been owned by any other than the Haley and Helming families.

Benjamin D. Helming attended country school and the public schools of Waukon, later spending one year at Cornell College at Mount Vernon and another at the State Agricultural College at Ames. He was reared upon his father’s farm, his education supplementing practical experience in agricultural work, so that when he began his independent career he was already an able and progressive agriculturist. His farm today reflects in its neat and attractive appearance his competent supervision and practical methods in its cultivation and is a valuable and productive property. In addition to general farming Mr. Helming breeds and raises shorthorn cattle, Duroc Jersey hogs and good horses, and his stock-raising interests are extensive and an important source of income to him.

In Waukon, on the 5th of October, 1899, Mr. Helming was united in marriage to Miss Winifred Augusta May, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. M. May, of that city. She was graduated from the Waukon high school in 1893 and attended the Nora Springs Academy for one year thereafter. She was also a student at Cornell College for a similar period of time, and was then for three years employed in the office of the Waukon Standard, of which her father has been editor for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Helming have become the parents of seven children, Carolyn Elizabeth, Dorothy Hager, Paul Hayward, Benjamin David, Robert Bruce, Frederic Simon and John Albert.

Mr. Helming was a member of Company I, Iowa National Guards, of Waukon, for two years and he is connected fraternally with the Knights of Pythias. He gave his political allegiance to the republican party until June, 1912, when he joined the progressive party under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt. He has always taken an active part in public affairs, cooperating heartily in measures of advancement and progress and rendering his township excellent service in various positions of trust and honor. He is well and favorably known in Union Prairie township where he has resided since his birth and having steadily adhered to high business and personal standards, enjoys the respect and confidence of all who have associated with him.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Linda Earnheart

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